1. First and foremost, you will understand why some people might want to shake a baby. Look, I’m not ashamed to admit that I have looked into those angelic eyes in the first three months of her life and wanted to shake the piss out of her. Did I? Well, absolutely not. But I sure felt like it. I won’t soon forget the 4 month sleep regression period, where it was the worse. The kid was sleeping great and then BOOM four months rolls around and she’s got to be rocked and patted and I’m running on fumes. Do psychotic people shake babies, yes? Am I psychotic? Not yet, but I have been on the edge of that line before.
2. Breastfeeding is HARD WORK. It didn’t work for me. From the latch to the public feedings, my breasts were too big for the baby’s head and I felt like I was suffocating her constantly. Instead of nursing, I pumped. I f’ing hated pumping. Not because it was uncomfortable, I might have gone longer if it hadn’t been for work. Legally, they have to give you a quiet, private room to pump. However, it’s really hard to do that in a work setting and I would be home engorged and uncomfortable. If you are a working mommy, plan ahead for the breastfeeding plans.
3. Some people don’t cut it out as a stay at home mom. I’m one of those people. I can’t be the stay at home mom. I just can’t do it. I go stir crazy and need me-time more than our baby would really allow. I love my kid, I do. But working is where I need to be. I am bored at home and there is only so many pictures I can take of her or so much Facebook time I can have in a day.
4. Babies are like little goats in human form. They WILL eat anything, stick ANYTHING in their mouths and will devour just about anything. Especially when teething. Speaking of teething, I know it’s exciting to see those little buds of white pop through the gums. Step back slowly. Back away and DON’T stick your finger in there! You stuck your finger in there, too, didn’t you? Yea, baby teeth suck.
5. Sleep training is my favorite phrase. I know there are people out there that don’t like the phrase. Hell, I don’t really like the verbiage of the phrase, but the sentiment is the same. Train that kid to sleep. Seriously. I resisted the idea of crying it out, I didn’t want to do it. In fact, my partner had to sit on me the first night. However, when I saw it working, I am all for suggesting it when someone asks. Punky is on a sleep clock like nobody’s business. She’s up at the same time, she naps at the same time, she sleeps at the same time. And she’s so trained, she initiates each thing on her own and knows when it will happen.
6. Don’t feed the kid chili. Ok, look. I am pretty sure I know this was a bad idea. However, I wasn’t really thinking about it. The pediatrician said at 8 months old, Punky could eat anything we are eating, just break it up in little pieces. Ok! So, we are having chili. I give her chili. If you have not seen soupy poop, you haven’t fed your kid chili. Good for you! I now know what soupy poop looks like and I would prefer to never know again.
7. On that same note, don’t put your kid to bed without pants. Seriously. Though, especially put pants on the kid on a night where chili was involved. Why you ask? They are just going to get their pants yucked up, you say. Yes, they will poop through their diaper and through their pants. It’s nothing compared to taking the diaper off and flinging it around the play pen. I only hear the horror stories second hand on that one. My partner got to deal with the aftermath of my feeding the child chili and then not putting her to bed with pants on. See # 3 – I’m a working mommy for a reason!
8. All the good cartoon characters talk to you. No, I don’t mean they are talking and have dialogue I mean, they talk to you. So that you can answer and have a conversation. Don’t be surprised when you talk back or tap your toes to that song you have heard a billion and one times. It’s going to happen. Smile and nod and just let it go. There are worst things in life than telling Steve where the damn clue is.
9. There must be some sort of magic cleaning solution in baby wipes. Who needs soap and water? Who needs cleaning products? I wipe everything down with baby wipes. The kids hands? Sure. The kitchen table, you betcha! Anything that needs a good wipe down gets a baby wipe and elbow grease. So far, the only thing to defeat the baby wipe is my daughter’s cowlick. That hair is indestructible and incredibly impossible to tame!
10. The best sound in the world is my daughter’s laugh. In the last year, that is what I have learned the most. I will say, her tiny voice when she says small words comes in second place. I will do anything to make this kid giggle and laugh. Right now, that means she gets to jump on me, poke me in the eye, chase me around the living room on newly minted toddler walking toes. It doesn’t matter, at the end of a hard day, or at the end of a whirlwind roller coaster of a first year, motherhood boils down to that one thing.